Our theory of change

In our 2014–2019 strategy, we hold fast to our central theory of change — that solutions must come from the bottom up, grounded in local context, local evidence and owned and driven by local people — but that local action can and must shape the global policy too.

Our work contributes to four outcomes:

  1. Changes in the body of evidence
  2. Changes in the interactions, dynamics and liaison between stakeholders to improve decision-making and collaboration in the local, national and international arenas
  3. Changes in the capacities of stakeholders to value, generate and use evidence for improved decision-making and collective action, and
  4. Changes in policies and practice.

Our theory of change shows our contribution to the wider process of change (click on the image below to expand it):

Diagram showing IIED's evaluative theory of change

 Our ways of working

Our ways of working show how, in partnership with others, we build evidence to shape debates and processes to promote sustainable development to improve livelihoods and protect the environments on which these livelihoods are built (click on the image below to expand it).

IIED's ways of working

We are connecting a diverse range of people, interests and organisations, and collaborate with them to build evidence of how to drive change. And we are listening to and learning from long-standing partners, building research and advocacy skills together, particularly with groups whose voices are not usually heard.

We put a spotlight on policies that aggravate poverty and inequality. And we identify positive pathways to sustainability — such as technical advice, tools and training — that can be used by civil society and trans-national networks, local and national governments, researchers and the private sector.

To have the best chance of achieving our aims, we position ourselves and our partners as leading voices in sustainability debates and target audiences that can move these debates forward.

IIED links local issues with global debates. Through work under our 2014–2019 strategy we support governments and advocacy partners to put international agreements into practice at national and local levels, using the practical evidence we've generated and collected to inform and influence decision-making.